Climate concerns, sustainable finance among focus areas in DPM Wong's G-20 discussions

DPM Lawrence Wong meeting with World Bank managing director of operations Axel van Trotsenburg in Bali on July 16, 2022. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF FINANCE
Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers and Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong at the G-20 meeting in Bali on July 16, 2022. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF FINANCE

SINGAPORE - Climate concerns and sustainable finance were key focus areas for Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong at the Group of 20 (G-20) meetings on Saturday (July 16).

"On this, Singapore strongly supports the development of a framework for transition finance," he said at the third G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting in Bali.

"What we all do in the next decade is critical for a low-carbon future."

DPM Wong, who is also Finance Minister, had a discussion with Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers on opportunities for collaboration across a variety of areas, including sustainable finance, food security and regulation of carbon markets.

He also met Dutch Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Sigrid Kaag.

"We are both smaller countries with a long history of being seafaring traders and are vulnerable to climate change," Mr Wong said.

"So we share a common outlook of the world, especially on the global economy and climate adaptation."

Regarding another meeting with World Bank managing director of operations Axel van Trotsenburg, Mr Wong said the organisation plays an important role in global development, pandemic response and increasingly, climate finance.

"Singapore is happy to host the Singapore Infrastructure and Urban Hub, which supports World Bank operations in our region," he added.

In the crypto arena, Mr Wong said Singapore welcomes the recent Financial Stability Board statement on international regulation and supervision of crypto asset activities.

The board is an international body that monitors and makes recommendations about the global financial system.

"We need a globally coordinated approach to tackle associated risks - while allowing innovation to take place safely and responsibly," he added.

Regarding taxation, Mr Wong said Singapore will continue to support the work on a Two-Pillar Solution that achieves international consensus, promotes innovation and growth, and delivers fair and consistent outcomes for all jurisdictions.

The Two-Pillar Solution by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development addresses tax challenges arising from the digitalisation of the economy.

The proposed solution includes introducing a global minimum effective corporate tax rate of at least 15 per cent for big multinational enterprises.

Mr Wong said: "The private sector also plays a key role in infrastructure, including sustainable infrastructure investment.

"We can fill funding gaps through innovative approaches and partnerships with multilateral development banks, private and philanthropic sources."

He added: "Despite challenges in our global environment, there are still bright spots for cooperation as we work towards a brighter future for all."

He said he spent the last few days speaking with counterparts on ways to build bridges and navigate global uncertainty.

Mr Wong also thanked Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati and Bank Indonesia governor Perry Warjiyo for hosting the meeting.

"Singapore and Indonesia share strong and substantive cooperation in many domains, underpinned by close people-to-people ties," he said, adding that Singapore will continue to work closely with Indonesia to realise its G-20 vision for the world to recover together and stronger.

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